The West MI Chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition is made up of farmers, farmhands, and growers in the Grand Rapids area with a goal to rescue some of the remaining green lots in Grand Rapids to give to BIPOC growers on which to live and grow as an act of reparation. This is a small step in repairing the long overdue injustices to these groups, which has created barriers to building wealth and led to the loss of community wealth over generations. Secure land provides a foundation for community empowerment and resiliency, especially when used to grow food.
These funds will go towards supporting BIPOC Growers around GR and in West MI so they can attain land and infrastructure. This is a time sensitive effort as land prices are skyrocketing and farmland is being developed. This project is inspired by the innovative work of the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund , which raised money to give secure land in Detroit to Black farmers and continually provide resources for growing and building community.
Land access is the number one barrier for beginning farmers. This barrier is even higher for BIPOC farmers, who make up less than 2% of our current farming population in the US. While Black folks were forced to create the agricultural systems of the US, they are harshly underrepresented in land ownership due to discriminatory lending practices by the USDA and banks. Additionally, the land in the US was stewarded by Native peoples long before it was pillaged by colonizers to become our current agricultural system. Today, sustainable agricultural trends such as permaculture have rebranded these ideas from traditional practices of Native peoples without crediting them. It is crucial that we redistribute power among these groups through land. It is important for these farmers to be able to grow in the city rather than in rural areas in order to best participate in their communities and receive appropriate reparations. This pandemic has proved that our national food supply is unreliable and unsustainable. In order to build up resiliency in our food supply, we need growing space within our cities so it is fresh, equitable, and accessible for all.
Michigan Food and Farming Systems is our fiscal sponsor for this fundraiser, so all donations are tax deductible.
We use the term BIPOC to encompass all people of color including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander peoples.
Photo by Raine Adajo Photography
DonationsSee top donations
- Margaret Schiefer
- Michelle Compton